tv Australian Prime Ministers Questions CSPAN October 4, 2015 10:09pm-10:37pm EDT
>> the british parliament is in recess. prime minister's questions returns on october 14. otherc-span.org to find british public affairs programs. now newly elected australian prime minister takes questions from members and the opposition on same-sex marriage and the ofend and this consists portions from september sessions in the house of rep and it is an just representatives and includes the leadership challenge between tony avid and malcolm turnbull. this is courtesy of australia's public an affairs channel and is about 25 minutes. ♪
>> hello. welcome. i am tom connell. a tragic figure of ireland. his lifeless body brought home the syrian crisis too many australians. lifeless body brought home. the refugee syrian crisis to many australians and also here in parliament house. labor pushing and eventually getting for an extra refugeean take, the government in fact going further than labor suggested with taking on 12,000 extra syrian refugees. >> are there any questions the leader or the opposition? >> thanks, mr. speaker. my question's to the prime minister. there is an unprecedented humanitarian crisis unfolding in syria and surrounding countries. all australians have been shocked by those horrifying images that have emerged, including the tragic photo of the police officer carrying the body of the poor, deceased, little 3-year-old boy. will the prime minister join with labor in a bipartisan fashion and commit to offering
10,000 extra humanitarian places in australia to refugees displaced by the syrian crisis? >> the prime minister. >> well, i do appreciate this question from the leader of the opposition, and he's asked it in a good spirit and with a good heart, mr. speaker, and there is a good spirit and a good heart in this parliament and in our country. we always want to do the right thing by people in trouble, and we are not going to let people in trouble down now. we never have and we never will. it is the australian way, to look after people when they are in trouble. i agree with the leader of the opposition, that there is an unprecedented crisis. it is, as he said earlier this afternoon, probably the most serious humanitarian crisis that we've seen, the greatest mass movement of people that we've seen since the end of the second world war and the petition of
india. so, it is a very serious crisis. i also agree with the leader of the opposition that all of us were moved to tears by that poignant image of the drowned child on a beach in turkey. and i do agree that this parliament should, as far as is possible, act in a unified, collegial fashion when it comes to responding to crises overseas. this parliament, for all of the difficulties and disagreements we've had, has so far been able to speak pretty much with one voice on national security issues. and when it comes to a humanitarian crisis like this, i'd like us to continue to speak as far as we can with one voice and to respond as far as we can as one united nations. so, i do appreciate the suggestions that the leader of the opposition has made. as the leader of the opposition knows, the minister for
immigration and border protection, mr. dutton, is in europe now. his discussions with the u.n. high commissioner for refugees with the international organization for migration with our friends and partners and allies in europe are now under way. they are now under way. i think it is important that we hear his report, and that is what i hope to do overnight before we start to finalize a response. and i say that any response that we do finalize in the next 24 or 48 hours may, in fact, need to be further revised as this particular crisis unfolds. but it is my intention to listen to the minister to see what advice he has received from the people on the spot, to weigh the advice that he has received from the experts who are already
grappling with this crisis and have been grappling with this crisis for some time now. and i can assure the leader of the opposition that he will be briefed and the parliament will be kept updated. >> the member for sydney. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my question is to the acting prime minister. they went off an additional intake of 12,000 people displaced by the syrian crisis. can the acting prime minister advise how long it's intended that this resettlement should take? is it the intention that the government will resettle those people before june 2016? >> the deputy prime minister. >> mr. speaker, i thank the honorable member for the question -- >> member for sydney, minister for foreign affairs. >> the government's decision to take 12,000 refugees from this crisis area is a humanitarian
gesture that we've been able to take. it's one that we believe reflects the will of the australian people to again do what we can to provide safe haven for those who have little or no hope of ever returning to their country and living with any kind of reasonable lifestyle. now, we have said that we want to bring those people to australia as soon as possible. we will be dispatching a team of australian officials to assist the unhcr to identify people who are suit abable for transfer to australia. we'll be doing that quickly, and we would like to see these people come to australia just as quickly as we can. now, i have to acknowledge that there will be time -- it will take time to undertake this processing. we need to insure that, firstly, these are people that the unhcr have recognized are, indeed, genuine refugees.
we have to do the security checks that are associated with these kinds of arrangements and then make the suitable arrangements to bring them to australia. now, we will commence this process just as quickly as we can. 12,000 is a large intake. so, clearly, it's going to take some time, but our objective is to do it as quickly as possible. >> domestic violence is another issue in which both major parties agree more needs to be done. labor pushing the government to take action after three more tragic deaths. more than 60 have occurred in terms of deaths of women and children already this year. >> the leader of the opposition. >> my question's to the prime minister. in the past week, australians have looked on in horror as three women have been killed at the hands of someone they knew, allegedly, highlighting the need for urgent and meaningful action on family violence. will the prime minister declare that family violence is a
national crisis? and will the prime minister join with me and commit to a family violence package, including front-line legal services to be funded to ensure women suffering from family violence get the right legal support and programs to keep women safe at home and to help identify opportunities to prevent violence by mapping perpetrator activities? >> i call the prime minister. >> well, mr. speaker, i do thank the leader of the opposition for his question and i respect the passion and the commitment that he brings to this cause. frankly, it is an absolute disgrace that we still have these horrific incidents of family violence. and the point i make is that violence is violence, and we do not in any way explain it or minimize it by saying that it is domestic violence. in fact, if anything, there is more horror to violence when it
takes place inside the home than when it takes place in other contexts, because the home should be a refuge and a haven, not a place for persecution and violence. so, i make the fundamental point, mr. speaker, in response to the leader of the opposition -- anyone who strikes a woman is not a real man. anyone who strikes a woman or a child is a coward. and all of us have a very heavy duty to say to our brothers, to our fathers, to our sons, to our mates, that domestic violence is never, ever acceptable, never, ever justifiable. now, i certainly don't rule out another summit. i do not rule that out at all. i know that this suggestion is made in very good faith by the leader of the opposition. obviously, much is already
happening. there was a summit on domestic violence earlier this year. as members of this house would know, there is a panel headed by rosie beatty and ken lay, the former victorian police commissioner advising coag on this matter. there is a $30 million national campaign about to get under way, which the government announced on the fourth of may. on the 17th of may, we committed an additional $14 million toward the 800-respect hotline. there is also $100 million over four years to support the implementation of the second action plan. what i think we need is concerted action and maybe a summit might help, but what we really want is action. now, i'll have more to say about this in the next few days.
essentially, we need to insure that men with the predisposition to violence against members of their families are better monitored, better tracked, so that the instant there is any suggestion of harm, the police can act, because the last thing we want to see is repeated atrocities like those we saw in this country last week. >> in what was to be tony abbott's final question time as prime minister, he was pressingly asked questions by the leader of the opposition about his leadership and how confident he was he would continue. >> the leader of the opposition. >> my question is to the prime minister. the prime minister said earlier today, and i quote, "i'm worried about being the best possible prime minister." [ laughter ] can the prime minister nominate a single person sitting behind him who thinks he's the best
possible prime minister? >> leader of the house? >> mr. speaker, that clearly -- i'm one. i'm one. but mr. speaker -- >> members of my left -- >> -- that question is clearly out of order. it is not about the prime minister's responsibility. it is simply an argument dressed up as a question and should be ruled out of order. >> yes, i agree. i'm ruling the question out of order. the leader of the opposition has the call. >> thanks, mr. speaker. my question's to the prime minister. in the two years since he became prime minister, unemployment is up, debt and deficit's up, growth's down, confidence is certainly down. is this the record of the best possible prime minister? >> the prime minister has the call. >> well, this -- this, mr. speaker, from the leader of the opposition, who back-stabbed two prime ministered and then lied about it on radio --
>> members on my left -- >> and lied about it on radio. now, now -- >> members on my left will cease in dejecting. the leader of the opposition. >> that's true. >> that's true. >> and mr. speaker, all this leader of the opposition can do is play politics, play cambria games, indulge in all this kind of silliness when, mr. speaker, the people of australia want a government which gets on with the job, and that's exactly what we have done every day since the election. we have been focused on backing hard-working australians. we have been focused on jobs, on growth, on community safety -- >> member from -- >> we have been cutting taxes, building roads, encouraging free trade. and, mr. speaker, just in the last week -- just in the last
we week, while members opposite have been engaging in cambria games, that's all they can do, more games for members opposite, we have been doing what the people of our country expect. we have been making our economy stronger, and there's no better proof of that, no better proof of that than the fact that we uncovered last week that unemployment is down, employment is up, 167,000 -- 167,000 new jobs since this year began, 300,000 more jobs since this government was in office, because what we're doing, mr. speaker, we are working with the creative businesses of this country. we are working with the decent, hard-working people of our country. we are stopping those dodgy, dishonest, corrupt union officials that that leader of the opposition is constantly
protecting. we are stopping them from ripping off the decent workers of our country. we are encouraging the decent businesses of our country to get on with it, with things like the free trade agreement with china that this leader of the opposition is trying to sabotage with a campaign of racist lies. now, i say to the leader of the opposition, stop listening to the cvamu. start listening to the decent people of australia who want this country to go ahead under this government. >> having left the chamber, tony abbott walked back to his office and was visited by malcolm turnbull. the leadership spill was on. ultimately, of course, australia ended up with its fourth prime minister in a little more than two years. malcolm turnbull took over that role, but not before a dramatic night. >> the prime minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs. he has not been capable of providing the economic
confidence that business needs. and we need a different style of leadership. we have lost 30 news polls in a row. it is clear that the people have made up their mind about mr. abbott's leadership. >> thank you for being here tonight. tonight there were two ballots conducted in the liberal party room, one ballot for leader, one ballot for deputy leader. in the leadership, which was contested by malcolm turnbull and tony abbott. malcolm turnbull was successful on 54, tony abbott 44. >> very good. thank you. thank you all very much. truly i'm sorry to keep you up so late. this has been a very important day in the life of the nation, the government, and of course, of our party.
>> yes, this is a tough day. but when you join the game, you accept the rules. >> i, malcolm turnbull do swear that i will well and truly serve the people of australia in the office of prime minister. >> i now invite you to subscribe the oath of office. congratulations, prime minister. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> and so, australia had a new prime minister. and by effect, a new government. what labour wanted to know for the rest of the week in question time, would the policies of the abbott government remain or would there be a new direction under malcolm turnbull? >> my question's to the prime minister. in june 2014, when asked if he supported the government's first budget, the now prime minister said, and i quote, "i support unreservedly and wholeheartedly every element in the budget, every single one." will the prime minister change the substance of this government, or is it just about
its style? >> i call the prime minister. >> i thank the honorable member for his question. the honorable member would be very aware, the leader of the opposition will be very well aware that we operate a cabinet system of government in australia. and every member of the cabinet -- every member of the cabinet supports the cabinet's decisions, and all of the cabinet supported that budget. and when the leader of the opposition invites me to sit here and unilaterally disown one policy or another, he demonstrates that he fails to understand that a cabinet government is a collective method of making decisions. we are a cabinet government. i will lead a traditional cabinet government, and policies will change in the light of changed conditions.
of course they will. they will change all the time. they have to. they have to under any government. but we stand by every decision we make. the cabinet stands by every decision we make. and as we revise them and improve them in the light of experience, we will stand by those, too. so, the honorable member is inviting me to make a unilateral decision, and he should not be surprised to be disappointed. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my question is to the prime minister. private members bill on marriage equality moved has been passed by house. it would take half of the parliamentary time to get this voted on. it could be done tomorrow. will the prime minister allow a vote on this bill and allow members of his party a free vote as he's publicly called for previously? >> call the prime minister. >> well, i thank the honorable member for her question and i respect her interest, very, very deep interest in this issue. the marriage equality or
same-sex marriage issue is a very significant one and one on which people of good faith, the best faith, honestly have different opinions, both on the honorable member's side of the house and on our side of the house. the -- historically, this issue has been resolved -- issues of this type have been resolved in parliament by free votes, and the honorable member is correct in referring to that. another way of dealing with this -- another way of dealing with this is by a vote of the people. and the coalition, our government has decided that the resolution of this matter will be determined by a vote of the people, by all the people, via plebiscite to be held after the next election. now, the honorable member -- the honorable member, i hear the
honorable member for isaacs call it a sellout. and again, it underlines -- now, again -- no, it underlines the utter failure of the opposition to approach issues other than in a thoroughly ideological way. the object is to be sure that australians either through their representatives or directly can make an honest, conscientious decision. our government, our party room has decided that the decision will be taken by plebiscite. why is the opposition afraid of the people having a vote? why don't they want all australians having a vote? there is no greater virtue in a free vote here or a plebiscite. they are each means of resolving the matter. one, i grant you, is more expensive, but nonetheless, nonetheless, it is a very
legitimate and democratic way of dealing with it. now, that is what we have resolved. now, let me say this, mr. speaker. at the next election -- at the next election, australians will have a choice. the labor party will say, vote for us and marriage equality will be dealt with by the politicians, by the parliament in a free vote after the election. and we will say, if we are re-elected to government, every single australian will have a say, every single australian. >> the member for kingston. >> we all respect members of parliament. after all, we are all members of parliament, but we are just representatives. we're 150 in number. every single australian will have a vote on the issue after the next election, if we are returned to government. and how can the opposition seriously, credibly say that is anything other than thoroughly democratic? when did it cease to be democratic to let the people speak?
>> the member for gordon has been warned twice. it's his final warning. the leader of the opposition has the call. >> thanks, mr. speaker. my question's to the prime minister. in 2010, the current prime minister said, and i quote, "i think people know what i stand for. you know, they know that i have strong convictions, committed principles, and i'm prepared to stand up for them." given that just in the last 24 hours, the prime minister has sold out on climate change, marriage equality, renewable energy and the darling, what other government policy is the prime minister willing to sell out to appease his personal ambition? >> the leader of the house will cease in dejecting. the leader -- leader of the house will cease in dejecting. the prime minister has the call. >> leader of the opposition, i must say.
but mr. speaker -- mr. speaker, again, again, the leader of the opposition consistently confuses the means and processes with the objective. i support marriage equality. many of my colleagues do not. many of the leader of the opposition's colleagues do not. the question of how -- that's -- that's a substandard issue. the question of how to resolve the matter, whether it is a free vote or a plebiscite, is a question of process. each approach has its advantages. one, i suppose, is faster and costs less. the other one keeps every australian safe and it has a cost. democracy has a price. keeping everybody on an important issue is surely a very legitimate and reasonable approach. and that -- the leader of the
opposition objects to that. he talks about climate change. mr. speaker, the objective in climate policy is to cut your emissions, is to cut your emissions. there are many -- >> member from kingston is warned. >> the emissions trading scheme, regulation, emissions reduction fund, a carb tax and many, many others, many other techniques can achieve the same end. and so, the judgment for policymakers is what is the best model, what is the best approach in the circumstances of the time. we have chosen as a government, thanks to the hard work of the environment minister, to go, to use an emissions reduction fund. he has demonstrated that it is cutting emissions at a very low cost. and this so upsets the opposition that they are now forgetting that climate policy is about cutting emissions and thinking that the goal is an emissions trading scheme.
of course, i've supported an emissions trading scheme in the past. so did my party. so did john howard. it is a technique. but, and we have changed our policy. the critical question is what is our goal? our goal is cutting emissions. we are doing that. we are doing that in a manner that we believe is least cost. and so far, the work of the minister for the environment is demonstrating that that judgment is correct. >> that's all in this dramatic emission of "question time wrap outsiwrap ." tomorrow former british prime minister tony blair and howard update on effort to end global hunger. features mr. buffett's photos. we have it live at 7:30 p.m. eastern on c-span.
thursday at the washington ideas them david miliband says united states is not living up to its ideals or commitment with regard to the syrian refugee crisis. this is about 20 minutes. >> high. . noid miliband needs almost introduction. yearsleft politicsv a few ago. i think it makes sense to start by talking about the rug